Clive Derby-Lewis: Should He Get Parole?

2014-06-20 09:48

Whether Clive Derby-Lewis is worthy of the proposed parole at hand is a complicated matter altogether. Suddenly it raises questions on the transformation of South Africa into Democracy, with reference to crime, penitence, and reconciliation. Can transformation exist without admission of guilt and honest confessions? One cannot admit guilt but still be defensive, or as they say, ‘apologise with a ‘but’’.

Clive Derby-Lewis was labelled by even whites as a racist. In politically correct terms we would say he was highly intolerant. This kind of barbaric intolerance is only ever recognised and scorned when it happens in KZN, either between ANC and IFP or the latter with newly formed NFP. But when this kind of barbarism is practiced by Arians or whites it hardly makes headlines or receives due condemnation.

Clive Derby-Lewis was bred from the deeply disturbed and antagonistic policies of the apartheid National Party, through the influential Afrikaner Broederbond Boy Scout hatchery. He is an Afrikaner, though not of Dutch descent, but rather of German and Irish ancestry. He was basically the classical and typical bigoted and privileged white intellectual of the golden years of the apartheid regime, the sort you would identify with rifle clubs, private farms, and private studies with stuffed springboks hanging on the walls.

Anti-Black                                                                                                                                                 Like many right wing extremists of his class, Derby-Lewis fondly nursed despicable and narrow minded views regarding black people, whether they be free or slaves, rich or poor, educated or not. It was not enough for him that his ancestors had near obliterated black culture across the continent, but Clive also firmly believed black people didn’t deserve to live at all, that their lives were worth less than human, and even beast possibly.

Clive Derby-Lewis was one of the men who quit the National Party in 1982 to form the Conservative Party. Led by the late Andries Treurnicht, the group were not happy with the gradual softening and loosening of the National Party’s defining racist policies towards black natives. Conservatives, in modern political terms globally, will be a group of rich and intolerant Europeans who believe black people are only good for cheap labour, and could never be their equals, let alone superiors.

Naturally, as a right wing capitalist from a long line of European obsession with Aristocracy, Clive associated black people with Communism, and hated both with a vengeance. As a black man, I don’t think I have to be apologetic about believing in a classless and a commonly owned economy, especially not in my native country. This makes me wonder how some whites can claim Mandela is legendary when they hate communism so much, when their so called hero was so closely associated with Communism or Socialism.

Anti-Communist                                                                                                         So caught up was Clive Derby-Lewis in anti-communism that he was sent as a delegate by the London based Western Goals Institute to the 22nd World Anti-Communist League conference in Brussels in July 1990. For me it borders on psychosis that people would hate communism so much as to form an anti-communism league. If they have strong convictions that Capitalism - the opposite of communism – is the answer, then why not start a Pro-Capitalism league, rather than the antagonising anti-communism derivative?

This same atrocious prejudice is what led Clive Derby-Lewis to see Chris Hani as the biggest threat to all progress, as far as he was involved. As he claimed during one of his amnesty applications, it was him and a group of Conservative Party leaders who planned and facilitated for the cowardly assassination of SACP and ANC member Chris Hani. Him and his friends undertaking such a potentially catastrophic action when South Africa was on the brink of a civil war was not only careless, but it clearly demonstrated the blatant futility of right wing extremists in general.

I recently saw a clip on the E News channel of some white right-wingers with pistols and rifles at shooting ranges, viciously firing rounds away and claiming they were preparing for ‘the revolution’, probably referring to the rise of the EFF or any leftist black movement. These are the types of whites who employ cheap black labourers at their farms or secluded small Boer towns, who could on any given day either feed their workers to lions, or even tie and drag them behind a Toyota Stallion bakkie till they die. Suddenly I think of men like Barrend Strydom, Eugene Terreblanche, and the recent Boeremag, who had the nerve to go and plant deadly explosives in a black township like Soweto.

In God’s Name                                                                                                                In his defence for the cold blooded murder of Chris Hani, Clive Derby-Lewis stated that he was ‘acting in defence’ of his people against a ‘communist takeover’. It doesn’t stop there. Like many other confused extremists of his type, he was able to implicate God or Christianity to justify his awfully twisted and barbaric mentality. He justified himself thus: “As a Christian, my first duty is to the Almighty God before everything else. We were fighting against Communism, and Communism is the vehicle of the Antichrist.”

Personally, as someone who spent time studying the philosophy of Jesus Christ, I found the above assertion preposterously inaccurate and misleading. If anything, Jesus’ philosophy would align more with the Socialist left than with the Capitalist right. The root of capitalism is private ownership, and one of the first things the disciples of Jesus did was share their property. It was Jesus who discouraged private accumulation when he said it was easier for a camel to go through a needle eye than for a rich man to enter heaven.

So Derby-Lewis was morally insane, because if anything, Capitalism is the vehicle of the Antichrist, not Communism. The classical Marxist motto, ‘To each according to need’, was inspired by and quoted directly from the Book of Acts, as written by Luke (Acts 4:32-35). So whatever it is Clive and his highly obnoxious counterparts were drinking and intoxicated from is a mystery to me - as to how they came to such contradictory conclusions regarding Christianity and Communism.

Parole Or Not                                                                                                              This brings us to the issue at hand: whether Clive Derby-Lewis deserves parole or not. As according to the law which was in effect when he was tried, the man was sentenced to death for the murder. But Clive is very much alive because Mr Nelson Mandela and his leadership scrapped the death penalty in 1995, to the relief of many apartheid criminals and serial murderers. Clive Derby Lewis’ sentence was therefore adjusted to life imprisonment.

As a philosopher, I’m not against the concept of forgiveness and reconciliation. Even in biblical standards, people are encouraged to repent, so to be forgiven of their sins. It matters not how many crimes or how severe were the crimes committed. So long as there is sincere repentance and complete surrender, then there is room for forgiveness and reconciliation. So the problem with Mandela’s reconciliation was not the noble act itself, but the kind of people who were forgiven. Clive Derby Lewis did not show remorse in my opinion.

On the other hand, incarcerated former apartheid police colonel Eugene de Kock expressed remorse and made an effort to reconcile with some of the families of the people he killed or wronged. As if Eugene de Kock was administering and running the Vlakplaas death camp on his own authority, some of his superiors neither confessed nor were charged. We all remember that former apartheid president PW Botha flatly refused to take part in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As Mandela once said during his presidency, in an interview with John Pilger, “You have individuals like Leon Wessels, Roelf Meyer… who have apologised generally…” But with regard to De Klerk, Mandela said, “I think that it’s a great deal of concern, that people like De Klerk have tried to avoid responsibility. I think it’s a great deal. I think it’s a tragedy.”

Remorse And Reconciliation                                                                                         So it makes absolutely no sense why we would call ourselves a New South Africa or a Rainbow Nation when some former abusers of human rights got convicted while others got off scot-free. Not only were some totally excused from confessions, but they still occupied positions of great influence in the new Democracy. I feel forgiveness should not altogether erase due punishment, especially where serious crimes are concerned. Why was Eugene charged alone when he worked under the authority of De Klerk and others, who persistently insisted they were totally innocent regardless?

Wouter Basson, the controversial apartheid era cardiologist who was employed by the National Party, was implicated in disturbing deeds and crimes against humanity, but he never admitted guilt and was never convicted. Mandela still employed him in the military after democracy. Like he had been involved in unlawful chemical warfare projects before democracy, Basson was arrested in 1997 with 1000 ecstasy tablets, after a CIA tipoff. I think it’s one thing to forgive someone for serial murderous activity, but to keep them in a position of authority is yet another.

So our current Justice Department feels Derby-Lewis is eligible for parole, but has he repented from his murderous bigotry, or does it not matter? Has he reached out to the Hani family and children, to express intense remorse and apology? Clive Derby-Lewis was supposed to be dead by law, but he narrowly escaped through the efforts and interventions of Mandela’s ANC, when the death penalty was abolished. But that’s just one thing. The question is, isn’t it rather irresponsible and outrageous to release an offender who has killed and has not shown remorse or supplication to the same community he abused and scarred with his anarchistic views and acts? What if he kills again? ©

[Follow My Blog: @JustSmartRage]

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